1. ace.1991
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    ace.1991 Member

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    Characters in a serious but subtle relationship

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ace.1991, Apr 21, 2016.

    Okay, my current WIP has two characters who are in a serious relationship. However, they are both astronauts who are part of a team to stay on Mars for 2 years. And given what I understand about relationships within work environments in general, my thought was to make it so they don't express or display much, if anything, beyond a normal friendship. at least not until the end, maybe.

    My problem is that I'm unsure how I could write it. Obviously I'd like to show that they have this special relationship, but at the same time they'd have to be professional about when and how they could be affectionate.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Is it realistic for a couple to be professional about their relationship, non-stop for over 2 years?
     
  2. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    You could show them hiding it at work, but they are more affectionate in private or where no-one from work is.
     
  3. Clairity36
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    Clairity36 New Member

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    I think that eventually there would be slips up but that could be good plot development. You could use their relationship to move the plot forward in some ways, perhaps they get caught in an illicit act by someone who dislikes one of them or maybe by someone who is secretly in love with one of them. It could add tension, but personally I don't think it would be possible to keep a relationship secret for two years in a small team of their peers. People will notice things, like them always eating together, or talking quietly just the two of them. Even if they think they are being discreet there will be people suspicious.
     
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  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    There would definitely be risks. And possibly suspicions.
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ Why would it be illicit? If it was a NASA-type outfit, I don't believe it would be so authoritarian that they would forbid fraternizing.

    2/ How could they disguise it at work? If you like somebody, you're going to have to be a superhuman actor to pull off being the same to them as to everybody else...you're either going to flirt just a bit - because it's fun - or you're going to overcompensate and be almost frigid with them.

    3/ How could they be "more affectionate in private"? It's a small community, there is going to be no "private"; you may be able to get away, just the two of you, and find a broom closet, but there's going to be no anonymous motel room! And it'll be a small enough community where everybody else will know that it was just you two who disappeared for the last half-hour.

    What you could have is that both are attracted, but one of them suggests that "We're stuck here for another 18 months (also, you've got them staying on Mars for 2 years - don't forget that, with current technology, it's going to take between 5 and 10 months in each direction, thus adding up to 2 years to the mission duration - and the extra time being in the very confined spaces of a spaceship), let's not waste any of our time fighting our instincts", while the other feels uncomfortable about being in a private relationship that is so public, and just wants to be professional - but fails! I certainly don't think you should have them not displaying anything until just at the end...that sounds too couple get thrown together in an impossible environment, fight their emotions, eventually find true love and live happily ever after.
     
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